01/07/2022 - 01/18/2022 | All Day
This 12 day adventure through the spiritual outback of Maharashtra India is like no other. Your mind will be blown, your heart will be opened. You will never be the same. This year, David will be co-facilitating the retreat with Body Temple Founder and Senior Teacher Adriana Rizzolo, which means more kirtan, more asana classes, more feminine energy and more fun!
David has been traveling, studying, and teaching in India since 1997. He has a vast amount of knowledge about the spiritual and mystical traditions of India and also enjoys a great social and professional network there. David started this Pilgrimage in 2005 and has gone annually (sometimes twice in a year) ever since.
During this trip, David will be taking participants to many of his favorite places and introducing them to the Sacred Heart of India.
Our trip will be in the state of Maharashtra in west-central India. The local language is Marathi, but the state is melting pot of so many of India’s wonderful cultures. Maharashtra has a powerful mystical heritage. Each day we will follow a retreat schedule with morning group meditation and yoga sessions and satsang (spiritual conversation) every night. Our days will be filled with exploration, practice, and enjoyment as we move through the sacred land of Maharashtra. In each location, the group will have local friends helping us out and opening up the “secret doors” in the local scenes. David is with the group the entire time, turning the whole trip into one incredibly deep learning experience
It’s a Small Group
Around 10 people including David and one or two Indian retreat team members. The small group allows David to ensure safety, give a lot of attention to each student, and to allow the group to “fly under the radar” and be very mobile. Before we go to India, participants receive in-depth cultural and health orientations.
The health orientation will provide you with the necessary information to stay healthy in India. The cultural orientation will help you to be ready to travel as spiritual pilgrims in harmony with the local culture – rather than as tourists. David keeps you safe, healthy, and keeps the experience deep focused on what matters.
Many airlines fly directly to Mumbai (Bombay). Often, the least expensive direct flights are around $1100-1300 from JFK but can be much less. The flight from New York nonstop is 15-16 hrs. With a stopover, the trip can be over 20 hrs. During the health orientation, David will provide some tools and tips to help get through the long flight. David and his team will pick you up at the Mumbai airport and provide safe, air-conditioned ground transportation for the remainder of the trip, dropping you back to Mumbai airport at the end.
Flight costs are not included in the retreat fee.
Accommodations in India vary dependent on our location. We stay in local hotels, guest houses, dharmashallas and retreat sites. They are clean and comfortable but definitley not tourist hotels. The aim is to provide a very authentic safe experience. The food during the retreat will be Indian vegetarian food of the very highest quality. For most of the retreat, the food will be cooked on site at our accommodation. At other times we will dine in reputable hygienic restaurants. Past participants have commented that the delicious food was as significant for them as the spiritual practices!
India has a great tradition of yatra or pilgrimage. People travel great distances to visit holy shrines and “power spots” throughout India regularly. We will be visiting and in some cases staying in these “power spots”. Our yatra combines exploration with deep practice, gonzo adventure with profound spiritual retreat.
We spend a day in Mumbai overcoming jetlag, getting into the “India vibe”, shopping for local clothing, eating, and visiting some amazing holy places in the city. In Mumbai we will visit Babulnath – a very old Shiva Temple atop a hill in the city – a very special place.
Mumbai is an incredible city with just about every color, flavor and fragrance one can imagine.
A few hours of scenic driving through the Indian countryside takes us to the ancient Holy City of Nasik. Nasik is situated on the Godavari River – a very sacred river to Hindus. It is here where the Hindu deities Rama and Sita are said to have spent time. In Nasik, we explore the old part of the city, eat great food, and explore some of the ancient sights there including a ancient system of caves carved by Buddhist monks known as Pandulena. The caves were built in the first century BCE and are still intact and accessable. Nasik is a jewel of sacred Indian culture.
Trymbakeshwar is also the site of the tomb of Nivrittinath – a powerful meditation master from the 13th century who is part of David’s spiritual lineage. His tomb or Samadhi shrine is a very powerful place for meditation. We will also spend one day climbing up Anjaneri Hill, a local mountain – said to be the birthplace of the Monkey God Hanuman.
The whole area is set in a gorgeous, mystical valley – known for centuries for its sacred energy and transformational power.
In Trymbakeshwar we will arrange for a traditional Vedic Priest to perform a 5000 year-old fire ceremony to invoke blessings and express gratitude to the universe. This ceremony is very rare for non-Indians to even witness, let-alone participate in.
Outside of Nasik we will stay on a small, lushly wooded private farm in the countryside. Rare birds, Ayurvedic herbs, wholesome locally grown food, and simple comfortable accommodations make Madhuban a highlight of the trip. There we’ll have a chance to practice silence, plunge deep into meditation, go deep into hatha (physical) yoga practice, and let it all sink in.
Being in Madhuban is like being in our own ancient traditional ashram. The air is clean and our days of retreat there follow the rhythms of nature, up early practicing with the dawn and sleeping deeply with the sounds of nature surrounding us. On this year’s trip, we are extending the time at Madhuban by popular demand, doing day trips out to other sites.
This year we will have daily āsana and prānayāma classes as well as daily kīrtan with full instrumentation (we will have several musicians including Adriana who is an outstanding kīrtan leader. While we will be doing all of these practices throughout the trip, we can really get into it at Madhuban!
Jnaneshwar was the disciple and brother of Nirvritti and is regarded as one of the most powerful masters of all time. He was a prolific poet and Guru and his tomb is the pilgrimage place for millions of Bhakti yogis and a great center of meditation and devotional practice. There is really no place on earth like Alandi.
Tuition: $6499 paid in full.* Two payments of $3600 or three payments of $2500
*$1000 deposit holds your spot. Payment arrangements made on a case by case basis.
Retreat tuition includes all local transportation, accommodation, food, and all retreat activities. Airfare and shopping money not included.
Apply today if you are interested in coming to the retreat. We would love to have you!
Group size is very limited and participation has some prerequisites. If you’re feeling it, fill out the application and we will set up a call to discuss all the details and see how we can make this happen for you! Payment plans, discounts, etc. are all on the table if you need them.
You can also send us an email if you have any questions.
We know, it is a big trip. Most years, participants needed to move heaven and earth to be there. And every year, everyone is SO GLAD THEY DID. If you have the desire, we’re here to help you make it happen.
Reach out if you have obstacles we can help you with.
India Retreat Application